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This page features letters from our local Councillors & Council officials on issues of interest to WBDRA. Only those which have annoyed our members intensely are displayed here - the rest are in our Library Section. 

Standard response from Cllr Nick Sutcliffe re Residents protest about his Committee ignoring the recent Public Consultation - this sent to several angry residents but still WBDRA awaits for a reply to our letter below.

 RE: Environment & Housing Scrutiny Committee Meeting - 16th December 2008Tuesday, 16 December, 2008 12:16 PMFrom: "Nick Sutcliffe" <>To:

Thank you very much for your email ahead of tonight's committee meeting concerning the allotments.

I should explain that tonight's committee report is an annual review of
activity by the council's housing department.  Primarily it reports on the
maintenance programme for the existing council owned stock and the council's progress towards its target of delivering 400 affordable homes under its key performance indicator. 

Aldershot Road / Westborough Allotments remains on the list for potential affordable housing as it is included in the current 2003 Local Plan, which remains the principal local planning document at the
present time.  At this time no work to design a scheme, to look for a
development partner or to source funding has been carried out in order to progress a planning application.

Your email primarily concerned the ongoing and long running and lengthy process being run by the planning policy department concerning the future Local Development Framework (LDF) for all the future housing and other planned development across the Borough on a longer term basis.  

This is a detailed statutory process as set out by the government, with many steps. It is totally independent of the housing department's review of progress towards its affordable housing targets.

Under the LDF Site Allocations process an early stakeholder and community engagement stage potential development sites were suggested. From 21 November 2007 until 30 January 2008, we consulted on the suggested sites as part of the Site Allocations Issues and Options consultation. These sites included those already identified but not yet developed in the existing 2003
Local Plan document such as Westborough Allotments.  

The current 2003 Local Plan document had a four year preparation period, including independent external scrutiny by an Inspector at a public inquiry. The replacement LDF documents will take even longer due to government changes in the way the documents should be structured and will include an Examination in Public.

 The council received over 4,000 responses to the Site Allocations Issues and Options consultation and summaries were made
available in mid-November this year, on our website.  These responses will be taken into account as the council develops the Site Allocations Development Plan Document as part of the LDF which will result in the Guildford Development Framework document.

As Westborough Allotments is already allocated in the Local Plan, it remains a current site for consideration for housing as well as a potential site for the future Site Allocations document.  Until the Council makes a decision on which sites should be included in Site Allocations Development Plan Document and secures adoption of this document, it would be premature to remove this site or any other site from those currently identified as having development potential in the current Local Plan.

The use of the allotments is an issue what will be fully considered as part of the Site Allocations process and any subsequent planning application.

I hope this is a helpful, if detailed, explanation.

Thank you for writing to me.

Cllr Nick Sutcliffe

THIS IS THE WBDRA LETTER TO CLLR SUTCLIFFE WHICH HE HAS NOT YET REPLIED TO (as @ 29-12-08) - and he still hasn't replied as @ 07-11-09!!!!!!


Cllr Nick Sutcliffe
Chair - Environment & Housing Scrutiny Committee
Guildford Borough Council
Guildford GU2 4BB       

13 December 2008

Dear Councillor Sutcliffe

re Committee meeting 16th December 2008 - Westborough Allotment Site

Several of our members have noticed that the above site (known locally as the Aldershot Road Allotment Site) still features prominently in the Council’s plans for Housing and appears on your Committee’s agenda for 16th December.

You may/may not be aware that there was an on-line petition on the Prime Minister's website earlier this year saying NO to Housing on the Allotment Site - this generated 550 signatures - GBC replied to 10 Downing Street that the site was part of a forthcoming public consultation.  I have attached a copy of No 10’s response which is still available on the 10 Downing Street website as well as the WBDRA website.
The Site Allocations Consultation - which closed in January 2008 attracted over 260 replies in favour of keeping the site as Allotments and/or Allotments & Open Space. The Housing proposal therefore had a resounding and unanimous NO. This was one of highest polling items in the Consultation exercise and clearly demonstrates public support for keeping the site for Allotment use only and the unpopularity of use of any part of the site for Housing.
This being so, WBDRA cannot understand why this site still appears on your Committee’s agenda this week. Clearly local residents have had their say in this matter (twice this year) and the Site Allocations Consultation results have been published and are in the public domain. Therefore it is time for the Council & Councillors to take heed of the wishes of the local community and to respect local democracy.
WBDRA therefore requests the removal of this site from any Housing Agenda.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely

David Bird

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